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CBS Evening News With Katie Couric

CBS News News/Business. Katie Couric. The latest world and national news. New. (CC) (Stereo)












Couric 7, U.s. 7, Grassley 6, Cbs News 4, Afghanistan 4, America 4, Us 3, China 3, Iowa 3, Washington 3, Lara Logan 2, Taliban 2, Ben Tracy 2, Tlc 2, Kennedy 2, Sharyl Attkisson 2, Cynthia Bowers 2, Obama 2, Bob Orr 2, Katie 2,
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  CBS    CBS Evening News With Katie Couric    CBS News  News/Business. Katie Couric. The  
   latest world and national news. New. (CC) (Stereo)  

    August 12, 2009
    7:00 - 7:30pm EDT  

concerned about health care reform confronted their senators and representatives in 27 town meetings in 12 states. one by one, they expressed fear and anger over legislation now making its way through congress, and they demanded answers. some in the audience came well prepared with details of what's in the bill. but there is plenty of misinformation out there as well and we'll try to clear some of that up. we have three reports tonight from correspondents all around the country, and we begin with sharyl attkisson. >> reporter: in hagerstown, maryland, there were so many they couldn't all fit inside. in new jersey, they had to move to a bigger space to accommodate the unusually large crowd. >> no one asked me to be here but me. >> reporter: everyone wanted to be heard. >> nobody tells me how to live my life. nobody tells me how i should-- how long i should live and when i should die. >> reporter: some were furious when they weren't called on.
>> and i'm directly affected by this and i guarantee you i'll be one thrown away! >> reporter: frustration was evident among democrats holding the listening sessions. >> i certainly respect your right to express your views. people putting out information that's just totally false. >> reporter: but separating fact from fiction isn't always easy in a health care reform bill that is not finished. in fact, four different versions have been approved by congressional committees. we searched for answers among the three drafts available. on abortion. >> what is your position on taxpayer-funded abortions which will increase the death of preborn infants by 20%. >> reporter: will the government pay for abortion? that's unclear. under one version, abortions would have to be available through at least one insurance plan but democrats say the abortion would be paid for with the patient's premiums. >> illegal aliens will not
number this bill. >> reporter: would millions of illegal immigrants be covered through health care reform? it's unclear. the bill does state only individuals lawfully present in the u.s. can qualify, but republicans say there's no verification mechanism to insure that illegal immigrants don't apply, and if one family member is eligible for health care, then every family member might be. on cost: >> how are you going to look at my children in their eyes and tell them they're going to have a better future? >> i am not going to vote for any bill that adds to the national debt. >> you already have! >> reporter: would health care reform pay for interests? as of now, that's doubtful. the president says costs will be covered through savings and efficiencies, but the congressional budget office can't quantify those factors and it's estimated health care reform would increase the deficit by $239 billion over 10 years. on congress: >> are you willing to drop your preferential congressional health care and be stuck with
this one? >> reporter: with-- would members of congress participate in the plan? no, just 75 republicans and no democrats have signed a pledge to participate in any government-run health care plan they pass. and this note-- we consulted with a number of political historians today, and not one of them could remember an issue that's gotten more people to town hall meet necessary modern times. katie. >> couric: sharyl attkisson in washington tonight. thank you, sharyl. by the way, at yesterday's town meeting in new hampshire, president obama says the a.a.r.p., a lobby for seniors 40 million strong was "on board with the reform legislation in the house, qutss but today the group says it has not endorsed any bill. meanwhile, americans have certainly spoken out about other controversial issues and other bills before congress, but as sharyl mentioned, we'd never seen people turn out at town meetings the way they are as preparesed and organizedded as they are. ben tracy looks now what's
behind this passion to be heard. >> reporter: for some, their anger is tightly focused on health care reform. but for others, this issue is simply the final straw. >> we didn't stand up, and what happened? they took prayer out of the school and replaced it with drugs. we didn't stand up, we got legalized abortions and they're killing babies, and if we don't stand up now, god help us. >> reporter: some experts believe a growing anti-government sentiment, fueled by extraordinary events suches at bailouts of the banking and auto industry, is spilling over into the health care debate. >> i don't want this country turning into russia, turning into a socialized country. >> when people see the change as being sweeping, complete, or large, they feel threatened and their immediate response is going to be to react. >> reporter: those fighting the health care bill contend the outrage is not organized. >> it's a million or so independent individual voices, exercises their right to free speech. >> reporter: yet, web sites such
as recess rally, which is planning a nationwide health care bill protest, lists freedom works as part of its coalition, an organization led by former republican congressman dim armey. also, a conservative group in connecticut posted an online memo called, "rock the town hall." the playbook outlines tactics to give a react check for we the people. watch for an opportunity to yell out. the goal is to rattle him or her. >> i don't understand this rudeness. >> reporter: even some opposing the bill worry all yelling will drown out their message. >> they're hurting the cause now and they're hurting cause in the future. >> reporter: yet, the other side is organizesing, too. attendees at this proreform event yesterday in l.a. were recruited by a local social service agency. >> it seems the republicans have all these talking points that have been delivered through glenn beck, bill o'reilly and
sean hannity that are not true. >> reporter: so democrats are now trying to play defense, sending out these health care fact check cards to supporters with their own talking points. ben tracy, cbs news, los angeles. >> couric: a key player on the republican side of the battle over health care reform got an earful from his constituents today at four town meetings in the heartland. here's cynthia bowers. >> reporter: the man many say is the most important member of the senate when it comes to health care reform, iowa's chuck grassley, took his turn on the town hall circuit today. >> we're here with such a large crowd because people fear for america. ( applause ) >> reporter: he was facing standing-room-only crowd at every stop. >> we don't really know what's happening. >> reporter: as the ranking republican on the senate's finance committee, grassley is trying to cut through the noise and come up with a bipartisan health care bill that's acceptable to everyone. >> you know, i have been criticized for being at the table, just like i ought to be
sitting in nigh office with my feet up on my desk instead of doing what i'm hired to do. >> both sides trust him. he's not a kool-aid drinker for republicans, he's no right winger and he's not a sellout. >> reporter: grassley made that clear today as he assured voters he will not support any legislation that includes a so-called government option. >> the government really isn't a fair competitor. the government tend to be more of a predator. >> reporter: president obama has praised senator grassley for his bipartisanship... >> communicate grassley of iowa. >> reporter: but grassley's message to mr. obama is firm. >> he's going to have to make a public statement that he will sign a bill without a public option in it. otherwise, i don't see how you get any republicans. >> reporter: many of grassley's constituents worry the process is moving too fast. >> the government has no business. that's not their business. >> we have no control over it. that's unnerving. >> reporter: senator grassley
says these are the most intense crowd he has seen in two decades and with the congressional recess just getting started, it's likely these emotions and the confusion and concern over just what health care reform might bring is only likely to grow. katie. >> couric: cynthia bowers reporting from iowa tonight. cynthia, thank you. now, from cbs moneywatch.com tonight, a better report card from the federal reserve about the u.s. economy. the fed says conditions in financial markets are improving, and 20 months after the economy went sbi downturn, it appears to be leveling off. but that has come at a price. government spending to jump start the economy has pushed the federal deficit above $1.25 trillion so far this fiscal year. meanwhile, the fed said it's keeping interest rates right where they are at their record lows. and all that sparked a rally on wall street. the dow gained 120 points. turning overseas now, afghanistan holds its presidential election one week from tomorrow, and the taliban are doing everything they can to
disrupt it. so the u.s. has gone on the attack on a taliban stronghold, helmand province, in afghanistan. most of the world's opium is produced from poppies grown there, and that drug trade finances taliban operations. today, 400 marines and 100 afghan troops ininvaded one of the largest towns in helmand to take it back. from afghanistan, here's chief foreign affairs correspondent, lara logan. >> reporter: u.s. marines stormed into the taliban-held down in southern helmand province. the first u.s. troops ever to set foot in this taliban stronghold. >> we're on the offense now so the defense is going to get out. >> get up, man, get up! >> reporter: the taliban had no intention of giving up this strategic base easily. intense fighting went on for eight hours. taliban gunmen firing back from
hidden positions on rooftops and courtyards. their resistance was so strong, the marines say the militants must have known they were coming. >> exactly, right there, yeah. >> you'll see him. >> reporter: ramming their trucks through walls, marines broke into a suspected taliban compound, looking for weapons and drugs. 66 pounds of opium were seized. not surprising in this town. it is vital to the taliban's drug-running operations here in opium-rich helmand province. >> by liberating ghana, we free the local populace from the influence of the taliban. they're able to go about their daily lives without being faced with murder. >> reporter: and, the marines are hoping, being able to vote in next week's presidential elections. that's what this operation is real about. the taliban has vowed to disrupt the afghan elections and across the country attack are on the rise.
the u.s. knows if the taliban are able to stop large numbers of people from voting in the south of the country, then the credibility of the election could be in doubt. that making operations like today's especially critical, but there's only one week left before afghans go to the polls. lara logan, cbs news, kabul, afghanistan. >> couric: and next right here on the cbs evening news, they're armed and dangerous and they've got a gripe with the government. what's behind the growing militia move
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>> couric: federal agents are becoming increasingly concerned about a rise in the number of heavily armed militia groups springing up around the country. a report out today says the movement is fueled by extremists who are angry with the government and dislike having an african american in the white house. with more on that story, here's justice correspondent bob orr. >> reporter: in ohio, citizen soldiers trained for urban combat while snipers in michigan practiced with high-powered weapons. and their call to arms echoes across the internet. >> you have the right to keep and bear arms. go out and buy guns. >> reporter: it's all part of what the southern poverty law center calls a resurgence in the anti-government militia movement. a report out today claims 50 mu militia training groups have sprung up in less than two years, and the right wing extremists, historically motivated by a distrust of government, are now especially angry about the election of america's first african american president.
>> we've seen a real streak of racism injected into the movement, and i think the reason for that primarily is the idea that the enemy, the federal government, is headed by a black man. >> reporter: the report cites recent attacks carried out by lone wolf actors, motivated by radical ideologies. three pittsburgh police officers killed by an avowed white supremacist. a wichita doctor murdered by an anti-abortion rights protestor, and a holocaust museum security guard gunned down by a nazi sympathizer. now law enforcement authorities are urging the public to be vigilant. >> you have an skrd who is consistently talking about taking up arms against innocence against government, that should be a clear red flag for people to take action. >> reporter: the report concludes the threat from radical groups and militias is not as great as it was in the 90s, a decade that brought the fiery standoff at waco and the bombing of the oklahoma city federal building. but officials say a sour economy
a democrat-controlled government, and a black president present the kind of perfect storm that could further fuel the growth of the marc movement. bob orr, cbs news, washington. >> couric: from scotland tonight there's word a libyan 86ed of bombing pan am flight 103 will be released from prison in the next few days. his lawyer says 57-year-old abdel al narya is being let go for humanitarian reasons. the former libyan agent has terminal prostate cancer. he has served eight years of a life sentence for the 1988 terror attack that killed 270 people, including 180 americans. coming up next, people who live near these chinese factories claim they manufacture cancer. this is a centrum multivitamin. complete from a to zinc. this is corowise, a natural ingredient that can lower cholesterol. put them together... and you get centrum cardio. the first and only complete multivitamin... that can lower cholesterol. centrum cardio.
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>> couric: china's economic growth spurt has come with a deadly by-product. it's estimated more than a million people there die from cancer caused by pollution every year. many of those cases occur around factories, such as the one she'llia hatton found in central china near chongqing. >> reporter: deng dingfu is living out his final days wracked with the pain of lung cancer, lung qaerns blamed on toxic pollution. >> ( translated ): my doctor asked me if i lived mere a chemical plant. >> reporter: in fact, he lives very close to one, the red butterfly chemical factory lies right at the heart of central china's village.
since 2002, the plant's process, is a powerful chemical used in tv screens. many say they've developed painful rashes from the village water, and several people have been arrested for speaking out. but locals showed no fear when a plainclothes police officer confronted our cbs news crew. the angry crowd eventually drove him away. but it's cancer, not the police, that's the biggest threat here, explanation environmental activist. >> ( translated ): before, cancerous illnesses were rare in this area, but now they're common. >> reporter: common and growing. a government study never made public looked at 1,000 people living near the factory and found 40-50 cancer cases in 2007. village doctors estimate that number may be as high as 70 now. cbs news contacted red butterfly
for its side of the story. in a faxed statement they say they've spent $13 million in environmental monitors and waste control over the last 10 years. but the family of this 14-year-old with leukemia says that's all smoke and mirrors, argue the company simply reduces factory emissions when inspectors visit. red butterfly has already been forced to close one regional factory. with lingerering pollution there leads to complaints of blurry vision, liver problems and lung congestion. here's a sample of the water flowing in the rivers all around this village. locals say the water was clear before the factory opened, allowing them to live off the land. that's a distant memory. during the global economic downturn, the factory will undoubtedly stay open. >> it's highly unlikely that cracking down on industrial polluters is going to be a top priority for beijing. >> reporter: villagers say the area's wealthiest people have already moved away, leaving the most vulnerable to deal with the
toxic downside of china's industrial rise. celia hatton, cbs news. floats through the air. but with the strength of zyrtec ® , the fastest, 24-hour allergy relief, i promise not to wait as long to go for our ride. with zyrtec ® i can love the air ™ .
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hispanic justice of the u.s. supreme court. the president told her emotional supporters her new role is another step toward a more perfect union. meanwhile, another president, john kennedy, once told dignitaries at a state dinner they were the most extraordinary collection of talent and human knowledge that had ever gathered at the white house with the possible exception of when thomas jefferson dined alone. today, another exception as president obama awarded 16 medals of freedom. the recipients included joe crow a native american historian who fought in world war ii wearing war paint under his uniform. academy award-winning actor sidney poitier, and tennis star billie jean king. president obama called them all agents of change. more now from bill plante. >> reporter: presenting the nation's highest civilian honor, the president called it a tribute to the power of the human spirit. among the recipients, former supreme court justice sandra day o'connor, archbishop desmond tutu, and stephen hawking.
>> his work in theoretical physics, which i will not attempt to explain further here, has advanced our understanding of the universe. >> reporter: honored but not present, senator edward kennedy, whose daughter, kara, accepted on his behalf. he continues his battle with brain cancer at home in massachusetts. >> the life of senator edward m. kennedy has made a difference for us all. >> reporter: more than 45 years in the senate, kennedy has been a champion of liberal causes and chair of the powerful health committee but he's now missing from the pitched battle over health care reform, an issue he has called the cause of his life. he vowed at this white house event in march to see it pass. >> i'm looking forward to being a foot soldier in this undertaking and this time we will not fail. ( cheers and applause ) >> reporter: biographer peter canellos said kennedy's absence has been keenly felt. >> he's a great deal-making politician and they're in a position where they need to put
together a compromise bill and he's the ultimate master achieving those compromises. >> reporter: the president modeled his career on the kennedy family legacy. >> barack obama appreciates him as this seamless link to a time of hope and optimism in the early 60s. >> reporter: and now with the death this week of his sister eunice kennedy shriver, known for starting the special olympics, that era is am category to an end. >> ted's story and the story of his family is known to all. it's a story of service. and it's also the story of america. >> reporter: the last time senator kennedy appeared in washington was to attend the signing of the "serve america act," a public service bill named in his honor. ( cheers and applause ) bill plante, cbs news, the white house. >> couric: and that is the cbs evening news. i'm katie couric. thanks for watching. i'll see you tomorrow.
this is "entertainment tonight" in high definition. the new michael jackson drug controversy. did the las vegas pharmacy raid find a smoking gun? are authorities closer to charging dr. murray? >> only i have uncovered this contract for a jackson reunion concert. plus, michael's son blanket, his surrogate mom finally revealed? >> dragged me into it is even more -- >> what fh'

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